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Emilia Clarke Thanks Healthcare Workers Who Saved Her Life After Serious Brain Injuries

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Emilia Clarke attends the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 02 February, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Last March, Emilia Clarke wrote a powerful essay revealing that she battled for her life while suffering from two life-threatening brain aneurysms during her first few years filming Game of Thrones. The injuries were treated through several painful surgeries, resulting in Clarke spending weeks at the hospital in recovery. Years after her last procedure in 2013, Clarke remembers how her healthcare providers "saved her life" in a heartwarming letter.

The new book Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, which is out on July 9, features 100 personal stories to honor the healthcare workers in the U.K.'s National Health Service who have gone above and beyond for their patients. In Clarke's letter, which was recently published in The Sunday Times, the Game of Thrones actress expressed her deep appreciation for the nurses, doctors, and cleaners who helped her through her difficult recovery post-surgery.

Clarke, who was treated at a hospital in London, specifically thanked a nurse who suggested the actress have a brain scan, when everyone else "struggled to find an answer when [she] was first admitted." She also showed gratitude for her anesthetist who "kept [her] giggling" before her surgery, the nurses who took care of her "with as much kindness as if [she] had been their own daughter," as well as the cleaners who gave her "a reassuring smile and a knowledge that they'd seen worse."

"In all those moments, over those three weeks, I was not, not ever, truly alone."

The 33-year-old actrRead More – Source

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Selena Gomez Is the Queen of Simple Yet Chic Nail Looks, and We Want to Copy Them All

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Whenever Selena Gomez drops a new music video, she never neglects the tiny details of her beauty look, right down to her perfectly planned manicure to match the theme. (We're referring to her nail art for the launch of her latest album, Rare.) The same goes for her red carpet looks and pretty much any other time she's out in the public eye — we've never seen her without a killer manicure.

We have Tom Bachik to thank for all of the nail inspiration that Gomez serves up. Bachik has been her go-to manicurist for years and is also responsible for some of Jennifer Lopez's best nail looks, as well as those on Hailee Steinfeld,

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64 Healthy Brunch Recipes For When You Have Extra Time in the Morning to Savor Each Bite

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Spending more time at home can shift your eating schedule so that breakfast is later in the day, but it still may be too early for lunch — so you have brunch! When you're not in a rush, you can create these decadent yet nourishing recipes, like protein-packed pancakes, vegan French toast, baked cinnamon oatmeal, and sweet fruity muffins. Taking some time for you in the morning or spending it with loved ones can put you in a positive moodRead More – Source

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Wondering If You Should Work Out Every Day? 1 Trainer Doesn’t Want You To

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No matter what your fitness goal is — whether you want to gain muscle or shed fat — having a consistent workout routine and eating healthy is the only way you'll see results. But, what about those people you know who hit the gym on the regular? And, we mean daily. One expert believes exercising every single day isn't a good idea.

Is It Bad to Work Out Every Day?

NASM-certified personal trainer Guychard Codio, cofounder of New York City Personal Training, told POPSUGAR that, put simply, our bodies need rest in order to heal. "When you work out, your muscles are basically tearing, and they need time to build and become stronger," Guychard explained. It's the same concept as injuring yourself, he said. (Note: that's why you feel so sore after a hard workout — you're experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.) So, working out every day doesn't give your muscles enough time to repair.

According to Guychard, workouts are better after a rest day, meaning you can get more out of them. "If you're working out every single day and your body's not resting, you're not giving that 100 percent because your body hasn't fully healed for you to give 100 percent," he explained. He compared not taking rest days to tanning after a sunburn. "You can't just go back out into the sun to get a better tan," he said. "You have to let your body heal first."

Guychard even went on to say that resting completely might be better than an active rest day depending on the activities you do. To repair sore muscles, active recovery, like walking and yoga, is encouraged and has been proven to help ease the discomfort associated with DOMS. Sometimes, though, a yoga class can be too intense (think of a flow class and all those ChRead More – Source

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If You’re New to Strength Training, You’re Going To Love This 4-Week Beginner’s Weightlifting Workout Guide

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Now that you've decided to start lifting weights, you're probably wondering where exactly you should begin. We know the weight room can seem intimidating, which is why we created this guide to get you acclimated to lifting weights. This program is designed to first and foremost introduce you to weightlifting, and second help you build lean muscle — and yes, you'll lose fat as well.

You'll work out three times a week for four weeks. Ideally we'd like you to do the strength sessions with a lighter activity day in between (swimming, yoga, etc.), but we do understand that life happens, so move them around to fit your schedule! The first two weeks will be very simple but still challenging. On weeks three and four, the sets and reps will increase. A sample week will look like the following:

  • Monday: Week 1, Workout A
  • Tuesday: Foam roll for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday: Week 1, Workout B
  • Thursday: 20-minute easy run
  • Friday: Week 1, Workout C
  • Saturday: Hour long walk
  • Sunday: Yoga

For the exercises that require weight, start with either 7.5-pound or 10-pound dumbbells. If this feels too light or too heavy, make necessary adjustments. It's more important to master the movement than to move carelessly with heavier weights. Don't forget to warm up and cool down afterRead More – Source

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The Innovative Way Death Is Portrayed in Hamilton Will Change How You Watch the Show

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 09:  Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo and Ariana DeBose with Lin-Manuel Miranda during their final performance curtain call of 'Hamilton' on Broadway at Richard Rodgers Theatre on July 9, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)

When Hamilton first hit Broadway in 2015, it blew audiences away with its creative storytelling and musical performances. Now, a whole new audience is getting introduced to the award-winning musical with its movie release on Disney+. Whether you've seen the show live or you're watching for the first time, there are so many intricate details throughout, you might need to rewatch a few times just to catch them all. Case in point: the innovative way death is portrayed throughout the show.

While Hamilton, Burr, and Eliza play big roles in the story, one of the most significant characters is the Bullet. Played by ensemble cast member Ariana DeBose in the Hamilton movie (pictured above on the right), the Bullet is quite literally death personified. In fact, the Bullet is one of the first characters to die in the show. After King George III sings "You'll Be Back," she is discovered acting as a spy and a redcoat snaps her neck.

On multiple occasions, the Bullet foreshadows the death of various characters. During the "Yorktown" performance, the Bullet shakes hands with John Laurens, who eventually dies a few songs later, and during "Blow Us All Away," she tells Philip Hamilton where to find George Eaker, who eventually kills Philip in a duel. Most significantly, the character portrays the bullet that kills Alexander Hamilton in "The World Was Wide Enough."

If you rewatch the show, you'll notice that the Bullet actually has multiple interactions with Hamilton throughout the show. "It's really intense for me because I always know I'm aiming for him – even ifRead More – Source

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If Side Planks Hurt Your Shoulders, Try These Trainer Tips

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Mixed race woman working out in gymnasium
Just because a move is simple in nature, doesn't mean there isn't room for error. Take the side plank, for example. It's one of the most classic and effective core-strengthening moveswhen done correctly.

However, when your form is lacking, you'll not only miss out on physical results, but you could also experience physical pain in different parts of the body, like your shoulders.

To get more details on proper side plank form and to prevent shoulder and even elbow pain while doing the move, we reached out to Chyna Bardarson, a NASM-certified personal trainer and Tone It Up App trainer.

Bardarson confirms that the side plank is an amazing tool for targeting your oblique muscles, but in order to get the most out of the move and to reduce pain or stress felt in your shoulders, proper core engagement is essential. "The correct side plank form is to lay with your forearm flat on the floor and the elbow lined up directly under your shoulder. Keep legs extended out with feet either staggered or stacked on top of each other. As you engage your core, it is important to keep a straight line from your head to your feet, rather than allow your hips to sag," Bardarson says.

If you prefer to balance on your hand, Bardarson suggests placing your wrist under the shoulder and pressing down into the full width of your hand. Lifting out of the shoulder joint in this way, she says, could help prevent shoulder pain. "Also, this is where it is important to remember the power of engaging your core. The more emphasis you place on healthy engagement of your core, the less stress you will feel on your shoulders."

So, it's really all abouRead More – Source

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Experts Are Saying There Is Mounting Evidence That Coronavirus Is Airborne

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As more studies are conducted, what we know about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it spreads changes. For one, the CDC states that transmission of the virus is most likely caused by ingesting respiratory droplets as opposed to touching infected surfaces — though that can still cause infection. But, how long do these droplets stay in the air? And, how does the size of these droplets affect that transmission? An open letter supported by over 200 experts from 32 countries argues that virus-containing "microdroplets" dispersed from people can be airborne, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) says results are still inconclusive.

A group of experts wrote to WHO back in April, and the debate around airborne transmission has been ongoing ever since. This specific open letter is signed by 239 experts asking for accountability from WHO and stating that smaller particles can infect people and can stay in the air for long periods of time. For background, there's a difference between respiratory droplets that can travel briefly and be ingested versus tiny droplets called aerosols — smaller than five micrometers or microns — which can "float around for a while," Emily Landon, MD, medical director of antimicrobial stewardship and infection control at University of Chicago Medicine, explained in an article.

Dr. Landon wrote the article back in March only days after a national emergency was first declared in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, she explained the general distinction between aerosols and the "small bits of fluid that you can feel and see when someone sneezes." Aerosols are like hairspray in a room, she said. When you go into the bathroom later, it lingers.

On the WHO website, it states that the virus spreads "primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks." But the droplets, WHO says, are relatively heavy, don't travel far, and "quickly sink to the ground." These are the droplets that Dr. Landon specified as "small bits of fluid" as opposed to those aerosols that last in the air.

The Debate Around Airborne Transmission Explained

WHO has not responded to POPSUGAR's request for comment, but in a press briefing on July 7, WHO experts reiterated that, right now, they only recognize airborne transmission being of risk with aerosols in healthcare settings where procedures can disperse them from infected patients. WHO specified in its June 29 update on COVID-19 that these are procedures such as tracheal intubation and bronchoscopy. Anne Liu, MD, immunologist and infectious disease doctor with Stanford Health Care, previously told POPSUGAR, "the healthcare provider is doing something that would cause the patient to generate more aerosols, so putting a tube in their throats to help them breathe or doing a procedure that makes them cough or doing a procedure that makes them potentially gag."

Here's the argument from these experts who signed the open letter: they say that studies do suggest COVID-19 can in fact be airborne and travel through aerosols from person to person. They argue that WHO and other public health organizations don't recognize airborne transmission properly and instead focus on hand washing and physical distancing as the main form of protection for the public, which they feel is "insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people."

A study from The New England Journal of Medicine that mimicked sneezes or coughs from humans, suggested aerosols remained viable in the air for three hours, and researchers told The New York Times in response that aerosols could likely be suspended in the air for 10 minutes to half-hour. The open letter specifically states that airborne transmission is the "only plausible explanation" for what is now being called "superspreading events" where clusters of people are infected with COVID-19.

For instance, a single individual with COVID-19 infected a confirmed 32 people (and 20 more probable others) during a two-and-a-half-hour choir practice in Washington State. An early release paper published by the CDC, which looked at clusters of COVID-19 in Japan from January to April, noted many clusters were associated with "heavy breathing in close proximity, such as singing at karaoke parties, cheering at clubs, having conversations in bars, and exercising in gymnasiums." (You can read more about working out during COVID-19 here.) The size of the droplets in these scenarios is not clear, but those who signed the open letter believe airborne transmission is likely the case in superspreading events in general.

Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech, who was one of the people working on this open letter, told The New York Times that it's unclear how often the virus is spread via aerosols compared with larger droplets that are expelled. Aerosols contain less of the virus than larger droplets do, but they can linger longer in the air. And, via The New York Times, experts have said for months that "infected people also are releasing aerosols when they cough and sneeze. More important, they expel aerosols even when they breathe, talk, or sing, especially with some exertion."

WHO technical lead for COVID-19 Maria Van Kerkhove confirmed in the July 7 press briefing that the organization's focus is on the risk for healthcare workers "where you have those aerosol-generating procedures," but they're also looking at the possible role of airborne transmission in crowded settings with poor ventilation." WHO says it's been going over data and working with "a large number of groups . . . to try to consolidate the growing knowledge around transmission." In the coming days, WHO will be releasing a scientific briefing that will outline what findings it has in this area.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan explained in that same briefing that when you're in an "emergency situation" like this pandemic where the science is constantly changing on almost a daily basis, it takes time to review the thousands of publications that WHO gets sent per day. WHO experts do a systematic review of the evidence, and whether or not the experiments that come out of laboratories reflect what happens in day-to-day settings, they cannot conclude. So, when it comes to publishing recommendations with the assistance of its guideline development group (in which some of the scientists authored in those studies are a part of), WHO uses the utmost caution.

Key Prevention Measures to Take From Here

Benedetta Allegranzi, WHO's technical lead on infection control, acknowledged in the July 7 press briefing that more research needs to be done on respiratory droplets as well as on how much of the virus is required to be ingested to infect us in an airborne transmission. There are factors that help protect us from the spread of virus-containing respiratory droplets, though. For instance, airflow plays a part. The risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation like some churches, restaurants, and gyms (note: you should still wear a mask outdoors if you're near others). As Dr. Liu told POPSUGAR, "I hope that people understand that the longer you are indoors with other people, even if they're wearing cloth masks or surgical mask, the higher the risk of transmission becomes." Air circulation, she said, disperses respiratory droplets more effectively.

Let's be clear, Read More – Source

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Boost Your Metabolism, Burn Fat, and Build Muscle With This 6-Move Strength Workout

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Nope, this isn't clickbait just in case you were wondering. We know that there are a lot of myths about boosting your metabolism: eating spicy foods and drinking water first thing in the morning are a few. It is possible to speed up your metabolism naturally and it's actually rather easy to do. According to experts, you can and should begin to eat more high-protein foods and healthy fats because your body has to expend more energy (which means a greater caloric burn) to process them.

Another easy way to boost your metabolism is to begin lifting weights. Strength training will allow you to burn more calories and build more muscle. If you're wondering why you should do more strength training instead of pilates (not that pilates is bad), it's because you build muscle when you lift weights, and muscle is metabolically active. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy energy your body produces, which will increase your metabolic rate, which is your body's ability to burn calories.

Now that you've got the rundown on the importance of your metabolism, it's time to get ready to work. The goal of this workout is to help you build muscle. You don't need to repeat it every day, but it's a good starting point to help you increase your metabolism. If you're looking for more workouts to follow, try this four-week beginner weightlifting plan.

The Metabolism Boosting Workout

The first step to any workout is a quality warmup. Here's a quick warmup you can do. Once your muscles are warm, it's time to get to work. You'll need at least one set of dumbbells. Since everyone has different strength levels, select a weight that you can lift with proper form for all the reps. If you don't feel challenged after a couple of reps, increase the weight. I usuallyRead More – Source

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I Tried Mindful Lettering For Stress Relief: After 2 Weeks, I Feel Surprisingly Renewed

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Spending months at home since this pandemic began, I have more time to tap into my creative side, and it's been so positive for my mental health. Playing music and singing with my husband, learning to play piano with my kids, watercolor painting, doing Zentangle, sewing masks — those are just a few of the creative outlets I've been enjoying. And while looking on YouTube for inspiration, I discovered a new crafty hobby: mindful lettering.

What Is Mindful Lettering?

Mindful lettering uses the art of hand lettering (or brush lettering) as an inspiring meditative practice by writing powerful, positive, and thoughtful affirmations or quotes. It's minimalistic in nature since all you need is paper and a brush pen or paintbrush.

What makes mindful lettering meditative is the fact that not only are you concentrating your attention on writing meaningful, uplifting words, but the very act of drawing each letter is slow and deliberate. The focus and intent helps to slow down your breath, calm your energy, and push out all excess thoughts.

What Benefits Did I Experience From Mindful Lettering?

I made a point to sit down after dinner to do this practice, and my two kids often joined me, drawing or painting on their own. Even though we were doing it together and chatting, it still felt like quiet time. Ironically this creative outlet both recharged my energy and motivation, while simultaneously relaxing me and helping prepare me for bed.

I found quote inspiration on Instagram and YouTube, and worked on one quote a night, trying to focus on the meaning as I touched brush to paper. Some are in the pages of my art journal, while others are on separate sheets of watercolor paper, which I then was able to hang up as little positive reminders around my home.

I never felt the pressure of my artwork having to be perfect when doing mindful lettering, because just like Zentangle, it was the process that mattered, not the end product. Read More – Source

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